Gathering in the Garden~ Tomatoes


I’m joining The Novel Bakers

with Gathering in the Garden:

From lifelong friends, artists, and gardeners, comes a delightful little gift book full of ideas to transform ordinary events into garden parties, complete with menus and recipes.


Gathering in the Garden

 begins with a Tomato Taste-Off.


I’m savoring that last bit of summer with

tomatoes fresh from the Farmers’ Market.


Mr. Hunter’s Tomato Stand, watercolor by Shelley Snow
in Gathering in the Garden




“It was a hot, sultry day, and we situated ourselves in the shade behind the garden shed, conveniently out of sight from anyone else who might want to enjoy a home-grown, red-ripe tomato.”



“We started with just two nice fat ones, never intending to eat every red, round thing in the garden, but we did. At number eight or so, we noticed we were giggling quite a bit.”


“By number ten, we were downright hysterical. However by number fourteen, or laughter had subsided and we were sick as dogs.”

tomato seed catalog (2)

“We stayed that way for several days, just long enough to allow the next crop of tomatoes to turn nice and red.”




BLT Bruschetta

Instead of the classic BLT,

we’ve been enjoying

BLT Bruschetta~


Their smallish size makes

it easy to overindulge,

eating more than you intended :)


No recipe required~ you can use any size tomato, diced, or a medley of cherry or grape tomatoes. Cook and crumble some bacon and shred some lettuce.


 For some additional flavor, add some chopped basil to your mayonnaise and slather on a liberal amount on your toasted baguette slices, season with salt and pepper.


Their open-faced BLT goodness

will put a smile on your face :)


“For months we have suffered the insult of dishonest marketers who display signs touting ‘Home Grown Tomatoes’ over mealy, tasteless objects in our produce departments. So, when the real thing comes along, we junkies have to cram into three months what we have waited for the whole year. We slice her, we stack her, we juice her, we fry her, pickle her, bake her, and best of all, slather her with mayonaise, salt and pepper, and sandwich her!”

Tomato table

A little tomato taste-off with some recipes from the archives.

Click on the links to enjoy a taste!


Tomato Tarts


Heirloom Tomato Pie



Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio Salad


Tomato Centerpiece


The flavor of summer~ Basil Salt

Joining The Novel Bakers

for Gathering in the Garden, September 2nd – 6th!

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm 

 Once Upon a Plate

Visit Jain, Michael Lee and Mari for more delicious fun!

Tomato salad plates from Pier 1, several years ago

Fresh from the Market #tomatoes

Hope you’re savoring the flavors of summer!

Thank you for your visit, also sharing at:

Let’s Dish!Metamorphosis MondayThe ScoopInspire Me TuesdayWow Us WednesdaysTutorials Tips and Tidbits,

Tablescape ThursdayOpen House ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeFoodie FridayBe Inspired FridayFeathered Nest FridaySeasonal Sundays

  33 comments for “Gathering in the Garden~ Tomatoes

  1. September 6, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Very pretty Mary! I love tomatoes and thought I’d have my fill from my son’s garden… Um, I’ll have to go back to planting my own next year:@) I love your plates and the BLT Bruschetta would be a perfect after work snack tonight-Happy Weekend!

  2. September 6, 2013 at 7:07 am

    I’m so darn hungry for that BLT Bruschetta now! Delicious and delightful post.

  3. September 6, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Oh, I love tomatoes. Can’t beat home grown tomatoes. My mouth is watering.

  4. September 6, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Oh Mary, your photos are full of tomatoey mouth watering goodness! I’m ready for a BLT bruschetta for breakfast. xo

  5. Sharon Howard
    September 6, 2013 at 8:13 am

    So timely! I have a big kettle of chili sauce simmering ready to can and about a peck of heirloom tomatoes I just picked waiting to be used-Now I have some great recipes to make with them!!

  6. September 6, 2013 at 8:18 am

    What lovely shots of nature’s abundance! Our 2 little tomato plants pumped out plenty of gorgeous red fruit for us to enjoy this summer. I’ll have to get to the farmers market to buy more so I can try your BLT’s, as there is only ONE red one left on our plants & one GREEN on that I hope to fry soon.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe & your beautiful photos, as always.

  7. September 6, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I just woke up and my tummy is growling so your foods make my mouth water. Do you think the BLT bruschetta would work for breakfast?

  8. September 6, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Mary, good idea with blt on bruschetta ! Had great tomatoes at my daughters house in Maine. She had an awesome garden. But, now I’m in Forida I will grow my own! We are lucky to have 3 growing seasons.
    Have a great weekend.

  9. September 6, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Love all the different meal idea:) Makes me want to eat one.

  10. Cheryl
    September 6, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Delightful post today Mary. Tomatoes are one of mt favorites, so I am a mouth-watering mess right now! It’s a good thing I don’t have the ingredients for that BLT Bruschetta in the house, as I am home alone and would be eating the whole thing myself! Yum!

  11. September 6, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Dear Mary, what a feast for the eyes! The image of your ivy encircled iron chair caught my attention immediately. Then the images of bruchettas from the multicolored and varieties!

    I always look forward to your visits!

    Art by Karena

  12. Franki
    September 6, 2013 at 9:27 am

    That was a visual delight for the eyes and dining!! What a display!! Cherry tomatoes are my favorite and I, too, eat them all day long. franki

  13. Peggy Thal
    September 6, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Such a beautiful display for the beloved tomatoe. There really isn’t anything more delicious than a vine ripened tomatoe. Just love a tomatoe sandwich with and a little onion. We have been going to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday and buying some wonderful ones- the real thing. Thanks for sharing!

  14. September 6, 2013 at 10:06 am

    That passage is so funny–I was thinking I would be ill if I indulged in so many juicy tomatoes on an empty stomach! Much better to mix them with bacon and basil. Yum–the bruschetta (bruschettas? bruschettae?) look delicious!!!! Love your wire watering can with the tomatoes pouring out. Can’t wait to see what book you do next! Linda

  15. September 6, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Mary, YOU need to write a book on tomatoes! You certainly have enough beautiful content!!!! LOVE that scale with the tomatoes!

  16. September 6, 2013 at 10:40 am

    This is wonderful Mary! I love tomatoes with just plain mayo and bread in the summer time. Jennifer

  17. September 6, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Mary, I don’t eat tomatoes, but I sure can savor these gorgeous images. You’ve done tomatoes proud! I’m going to pin the tomato centerpiece. It’s lovely! You could keep it on your kitchen counter and pick from it as you cook. My husband will like this one. He loves tomatoes. I’m forwarding it on over.

  18. September 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Love it, love it, love it!!!

    For the first time since we’ve had a garden on this island, our tomato harvest has been wonderful!!! Definitely will try the BLT Bruschetta!

  19. September 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    What a beautiful post dedicated to the tomato ! I love the selection of recipes you chose to make Mary~ they all look delicious. I’m enjoying every one of your tomato accessories (and little wheel barrow!) It’s always a charming visit at your blog. Have a great weekend!

  20. September 6, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    What a beautiful post, Mary! I WANT those plates-they are SO cute! xo Diana

  21. September 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    gosh i hate for the week to end, i have so enjoyed everyone’s gathering in the garden… i am very smitten with your tomato tasting, from old to new again its all fabulous. your little corner niche to play in is picture perfect… AGAIN! so much fun to play with the professionals ;-)

    as always, you have an eye for detail, which is why we all adore you, we can just study your thought patterns, smack dab live and in color. its a knack to take the common, the simple and make it extraordinary. its even rarer to have such perfect camera skills to dazzle us from head to toe~

    the trowel, the cage, the can, make that cans, all fantastic. your statue reminds me of bacchus, i have a cement one lost somewhere in the garden i need to unearth now that i mention it! you know i love the plates too ;-)

    i love your refreshing tomato love, i have all these pics filed away for years now, but i must say my very favorite was your center piece, brim full of creativity.

    thanks so much for such a wonderful gathering in the garden, you have been my playing with books and food since day one with me, its always a treat, always fresh, always new and exciting!

  22. September 6, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    BLT Bruschetta sounds absolutely perfect, Mary. And I must say that you amaze me with your photography. You really do have a great eye! Lovely post, my friend.


  23. paula
    September 6, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Oh Yum !! nothing better homegrown tomatoes!!
    Isn’t funny my sister loves green fried tomatoes, but will not touch a Red tomato. I love Red tomatoes, and will not eat green fried tomatoes.
    tHE BLT Brushcetta looks wonderful !!

  24. Bonnie Keearns
    September 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    What can I say that “a quiet life” didn’t say…very uplifting and inspirational!

  25. September 6, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Mary, I think that I’ve eaten tomatoes at least once a day for the past 3 months but I still enjoyed your photographs of them! I think I need to find the book Gathering in the Garden!

  26. September 7, 2013 at 9:10 am

    What a visual delight this post is. The composition of each picture makes me so hungry hat I want to go out and buy a bushel of tomatoes and sit down and gorge on them. You are just so clever.

  27. September 7, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Fresh tomatoes are wonderful! Their flavor is like nothing else. Love your presentation.

    Wonderful to have you at Seasonal Sundays.

    – The Tablescaper

  28. Bev
    September 9, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Looks beautiful and so delicious!

  29. September 10, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Oh Mary…reading your beautiful posts is like reading a gorgeous novel every day…you are amazing!…and I love, love “Mr. Hunter’s Tomato Stand” watercolor!

  30. September 11, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Your pictures are beautiful and that book looks so cute…I may have to order it! Visiting from The Scoop and following you via Bloglovin!

  31. September 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I love anything tomatoes…and bruschetta is one of my favorites. This blt twist is inviting

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